Wed, 8 December 2021

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The future of homes is timber

Sarah Virgo, Wood for Good Campaign Manager | Wood for Good

2 min read

We have long been in support of the Future Homes Standard and the clarity it could offer for the trajectory to net zero.

It is encouraging to see that the government has considered the need for low carbon materials, such as timber, to achieve greener homes. Modern methods of construction (MMC) has also remained on the agenda, which is excellent news for the timber industry.

Sadly, the government's response to the Future Homes Standard consultation misses the importance of embodied carbon, despite the fact this was clearly important to many respondents. This point has been raised by the Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), which has a dedicated working group for embodied carbon.

Low carbon heating and energy systems are imperative, but it is not the only way to reduce harmful emissions. By taking a fabric first approach and choosing a natural and renewable material such as timber, embodied carbon is reduced.

Timber structural systems, such as timber frame or cross-laminated timber, not only embody carbon (at around 20 - 60% per building) but also deliver the benefits of modern methods of construction. Choosing build systems like these reduces build time, reduces waste, improves safety and causes less disruption in the local area.

As a nation we need affordable, well designed and energy efficient homes that address the significant issues of fuel poverty and climate change. This can be achieved through energy-efficient systems coupled with building with timber.

To see how the timber industry is working with the construction industry to reduce CO2 and fight climate change, take a look at the Wood CO2ts less campaign.

 

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